For Paul on His Birthday

“it’s a great life
if you don’t weaken,”
you once told me

I have taken that
with all else you have
generously bequeathed

I have tried so
not to disappoint
to advance the important

to know the difference
between what matters
and what doesn’t

you would not like it now
they have torn down much of
what you have so fearlessly built

they are never satisfied with their own
as they continue to pick
at the success you have attained

I will carry on as your son
heir to your legacy of caring
combating their selfish greed

it is a great life
I will not weaken
I only wish I could show you

what I have done
with what you have given me
to thank you for all of it

Mark Russillo